Book Puts An End To Questions About The End
have so many gedolei Yisroel wanted to reveal the keitz
– the end date when the final Redemption has to occur? Weren’t
they concerned about the anguish and despair that would follow if
Moshiach didn’t arrive by the calculated date? What criteria
were used in calculating these dates? What is the absolutely last
date given for Moshiach’s coming? * An exclusive interview with
Rabbi Schneur Zalman Hertzel, author of the recently published HaKeitz,
the book that puts an end to all these questions.
new Hebrew-language book has just joined the ranks of the
ever-growing number of works being written about Moshiach and
Geula. In accordance with the Rebbe MH”M’s statement that
studying these topics “is the straightest path for bringing the Geula,”
our generation has merited to see an abundance of learning tools
to help us fulfill the Rebbe’s directive. This latest offering,
entitled HaKeitz, deals with a sensitive issue not usually
covered in other volumes. This work explores the meaning of the keitz
as elucidated in the Rebbe MH”M’s teachings and a variety of
other Torah sources.
celebration of its recent publication, Beis Moshiach
presents this exclusive interview with the book’s editor, Rabbi
Schneur Zalman Hertzel, who shares some of his thoughts on the
on the publication of your seifer.
How many s’farim have you previously published?
is the fourth seifer, three of which focus on the subject
of Moshiach and Geula. Aside from Peninei Geula and Nisu’ei
HaNesiim, I also wrote Kahal Gadol Yashuvu Heina, which
explores the connection between hakhel and the Redemption.
That book, the brainchild of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Stolik, was
released towards the end of 5755, and was published by Beis
Moshiach and the International Campaign to Bring Moshiach. But
because it was published at the end of the hakhel year, it
never received a lot of attention.
motivated you to write a book about end dates?
all heard the Rebbe tell us that [as the Gemara says] “all the
end dates have passed.” In fact, the Rebbe emphasized that all
the end dates had already passed in the times of the Gemara –
how much more so in our times, hundreds of years later! There are
also many end dates cited by gedolei Yisroel over the
generations, such as the Rambam and the Alter Rebbe.
I heard these statements it always raised a question that bothered
me: If the Talmud had already paskened that all the
end dates had passed, where did the later end dates come from?
Didn’t the fact that there were later ones prove that not all
of them had passed, but only some? And if the explanation is that
these subsequent dates were a different type or in a different
category, what did that mean?
curious, I started researching the subject. Not only did I find
the answers to my questions, but I discovered an entire body of
information that not many people are aware of. HaKeitz is
the product of that research.
whom is the book intended?
was written for anyone who wants to fulfill the Rebbe’s
directive to learn more about Moshiach and Geula.
book is written in a very readable style, to make even the deepest
concepts accessible to the general public. Certain sections are a
little more complicated, but they don’t interrupt the overall
flow. Most of the more scholarly material appears in the
appropriate is this book for mivtzaim or a Chabad House?
book is one hundred percent appropriate to give out on mivtzaim
or to show anyone who walks into a Chabad House. I would tell
someone without a yeshiva background to read it, and if
they find something they don’t understand, they should skip it
and go on to the next chapter. This is one way the person will
learn about Moshiach and Geula, and acquire a much deeper
knowledge about the concept of the keitz. Reading the book
also creates an intense longing for the Redemption, as it
describes how close we are to it.
us about the book itself.
is divided into four sections: The first section contains sources
in Tanach and Mefarshim concerning the end of the
exile. There’s also a special section with quotes from the
Rebbeim on this subject.
second section is presented in a table format, with all the end
dates arranged chronologically going back to the times of the
Gemara. It starts with the keitz mentioned by Rabbi Akiva
in Tractate Sanhedrin, goes on to the various dates mentioned in
the Zohar, and continues all the way up to the kitzin
cited by the Rebbeim. Listed next to every date is historical
material about that particular generation, and an explanation of
how the date was calculated. It also includes historical events
that occurred in those years.
third section is the main body of the book, which elucidates the
fundamental concept of the keitz. But like everything else
in Torah, it touches on a lot of other subjects, too.
fourth section contains piyutim [liturgical poems] and
quotes from davening about the keitz, such as those
by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi and R’ Shlomo Ibn Gabirol.
us something you discovered in the course of your research.
found out what happened in the end date mentioned in the
Abarbanel’s seifer, Maayanei HaYeshua. But first a
little background information: At the end of chapter five in the
third section of HaKeitz (and also in the introduction to
the second section), various events are cited that happened
throughout Jewish history during each of these end date years.
Some of these events were terrible, such as the pogroms of Tav-Ches
and Tav-Tes, which the Zohar describes as end
dates. Yet some of them were positive developments, such as the
printing of the Alter Rebbe’s Likkutei Torah in Tav-Reish-Ches,
which is a foretaste of the p’nimiyus ha’Torah
that Moshiach will reveal.
the year cited by the Abarbanel, Reish-Tzaddik-Dalet,
the Arizal was born, which initiated a whole new stage in the
revelation of p’nimiyus ha’torah. As the Arizal said,
“In these last generations, not only is it permissible, but it
is a mitzva to reveal this wisdom.”
interesting point: We are now in the year Tav-Shin-Samech,
which has long been cited as a special date in connection with the
Geula. In the seifer Keitz HaPlaot I found an
interesting quote from the Mikdash Melech about the
association between all “sixtieth years” and the Redemption:
“If the Jewish people had had sufficient merit they would have
been redeemed in the first sixty years of the sixth millennium,
and likewise, in each later sixtieth year…for the Redeemer is
awakened in every year ending with a Samech.” He also
states that “All the redemptions are alluded to in the letter Samech.”
unearthed a lot of fascinating information, but it would take too
long to discuss all those points.
the book include any stories?
the beginning I thought I’d devote a whole section to stories
about the keitz, like the famous one about the Arizal who
invited his disciples to go up to Yerushalayim one Erev Shabbos.
Because they didn’t obey him immediately, the auspicious moment
for bringing the Geula was lost. There’s also a story
about the Chozeh of Lublin. Although I didn’t include an entire
section, the book mentions many of them, such as the keitz
of Tav-Reish-Samech-Vav, when the
elder Chassidim declared that the Hemshech of Yom Tov
Shel Rosh HaShana Tav-Reish-Samech-Vav
[of the Rebbe Rashab] contains the revelations of the light of
Moshiach; the pogroms that occurred in Russia at that time; the
burning of the seifer Torah in Tav-Kuf-Yud-Ches;
the Holy Jew who heard the shofar being blown by Moshiach
in the worlds of Atzilus, Briya, and Yetzira,
and many more.
is the difference between the end dates given by gedolei
Yisroel over the ages, many of whom promised that Moshiach
would come in their time, and the declaration of the Rebbe shlita
that the Geula will happen in our generation. Why should we
not say that the Rebbe, like everyone else before him, tried to
bring the Geula, but we simply weren’t worthy?
is one of the essential points of the seifer. A short
answer is imprecise and incomplete, and should be followed up by
reading the book to thoroughly understand the concepts.
throughout the ages have calculated end dates, but the Rebbe shlita
never calculated an end date! The Rebbe remarked concerning what
various s’farim say about certain years, such as 5742,
but he never encouraged the calculation of kitzin in the
all other gedolim who preceded him, the Rebbe actually drew
the Geula down into the physical world when he prophesized
about it. At the moment of uttering the prophecy, the different
stages of the Geula began to materialize. This is only one
difference between the Rebbe’s declaration of certain Redemption
in our generation and the words of our Sages over the millennia.
is the absolutely last possible keitz?
is the significance of that answer?
Rebbe said on Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei 5747, “All of the
end dates, including the final end date revealed by the Nasi
of our generation, my father-in-law, the Rebbe, in his famous
declaration of ‘l’alter l’Geula [immediately to the
Redemption],’ have already elapsed.” On Purim 5747, the Rebbe
said, “The keitz that was said by my father-in-law, the Nasi
of our generation, has already passed, and no one now has the
ability to calculate end dates. Furthermore, there is no longer a
need to calculate end dates.”
would like to thank everyone who helped with the editing of the
book, especially R’ Shimon Vitzhandler, who spent countless
hours proofreading the text, and R’ Zev Cadaner, for printing it
explains the main innovation of the Rebbe’s prophecy of Geula
in our generation. If you need a book in plain language to give to
people you meet on mivtzaim, this is the one.
conclude, as the Rebbe said on Purim 5747, “Genug cheshbonos
– enough with calculating end dates.” What is most important
is that the Geula should occur without delay!
bulk orders of HaKeitz at a special reduced price, call (718)